How many Oz is a regular Mason jar?

Quick Answer

A regular Mason jar typically holds about 16-20 fluid ounces (oz) of liquid or dry goods. The exact capacity depends on the specific jar size, but a common 16 oz Mason jar holds approximately 16 oz when filled to the brim. Smaller 12 oz jars may hold around 12-14 oz, while larger mouth 24 oz jars can hold 20-22 oz. Ball and Kerr, two major Mason jar manufacturers, offer jars ranging from 4 oz up to 128 oz.

What is a Mason Jar?

A Mason jar is a glass jar used for home canning and food storage. It has a threaded metal lid with a rubber seal to allow for vacuum sealing. The word “Mason” refers to John Landis Mason, who invented and patented the glass jar in 1858.

Some key features of Mason jars include:

  • Made of heat-tempered glass – allows for boiling during canning process
  • Threaded metal lid – screws onto the glass jar to create an airtight seal
  • Rubber ring – forms seal between jar and lid when tightened
  • Wide mouth or regular mouth options – wide mouths are easier to fill and clean
  • Sizes range from 4 oz to 128 oz
  • Reusable and durable for long-term storage

Mason jars are commonly used for:

  • Canning fruits, vegetables, jams, sauces, etc.
  • Storing dry goods like flour, sugar, coffee, etc.
  • Housing homemade products like lotions, soaps, granola
  • Drinking glasses or to-go cups
  • Crafts and decorations

Their versatility and ability to create an airtight seal makes them ideal for preserving and storing all kinds of foods and household items.

What Qualifies as a “Regular” Mason Jar?

When someone refers to a “regular” Mason jar, they typically mean the common mouth 16 oz (1 pint) size. However, Mason jars come in a range of mouth sizes and capacities, so the definition of “regular” can vary.

Some guidelines on regular Mason jar sizes:

  • Mouth Size – 2.5 inches to 3 inches is considered a regular mouth
  • Capacity – 12-16 fluid oz is considered a regular size
  • Common Sizes – The 16 oz (1 pint) jar is probably the most standard “regular” jar

Other common sizes include 8 oz (1/2 pint), 12 oz (3/4 pint), and 24 oz (1.5 pints). So while a 16 oz might be the most typical “regular”, a 12 oz or 24 oz jar could also qualify depending on the context. The mouth size tends to stay within that 2.5-3 inch range regardless of capacity.

How Many Ounces Can a Regular Mason Jar Hold?

As discussed above, the typical regular mouth Mason jar holds 16 fluid ounces (oz), or 1 pint. This 16 oz size is useful for many basic canning and storage needs.

However, the exact capacity can vary slightly based on brand, mouth size, production runs, and other factors. Here are some guidelines for regular Mason jar capacities:

  • 12 oz wide mouth – Holds approximately 12-13 oz when filled to the rim
  • 12 oz regular mouth – Holds approximately 12-14 oz when filled to the rim
  • 16 oz wide mouth – Holds approximately 15-16 oz when filled to the rim
  • 16 oz regular mouth – Holds approximately 16-18 oz when filled to the rim
  • 24 oz wide mouth – Holds approximately 20-22 oz when filled to the rim

So the typical regular mouth, 16 oz Mason jar will hold about 16-18 fluid ounces when filled completely full. This allows some reasonable variance between different brands and jar configurations.

It’s also important to note that the jar capacity ratings are based on total volume, including headspace. Canners typically leave 1/4 to 1/2 inch of headspace when filling jars for proper sealing and food safety. So the actual amount of food or liquid filled into a “16 oz” jar may be more like 14-15 oz to account for headspace.

Typical Regular Mason Jar Sizes and Capacities

Here is a more detailed overview of some of the most common regular mouth Mason jar sizes and their approximate capacities:

8 oz Jar

  • Actual capacity: 7-8 oz liquid
  • Common uses: Jams, sauces, relishes, pie fillings
  • Size/headspace: Leave 1/4″ headspace when canning

12 oz Jar

  • Actual capacity: 10-12 oz liquid
  • Common uses: Jams, sauces, relishes, herbs, spices
  • Size/headspace: Leave 1/4-1/2″ headspace when canning

16 oz Jar

  • Actual capacity: 14-16 oz liquid
  • Common uses: Sauces, relishes, vegetables, pickles, pie fillings
  • Size/headspace: Leave 1/2″ headspace when canning

24 oz Jar

  • Actual capacity: 20-22 oz liquid
  • Common uses: Tomatoes, sauces, apple butter, pie fillings
  • Size/headspace: Leave 1/2″ headspace when canning

32 oz Jar

  • Actual capacity: 28-30 oz liquid
  • Common uses: Juices, sauces, apple butter, pie fillings
  • Size/headspace: Leave 1/2″ headspace when canning

So in summary, a typical 16 oz regular mouth Mason jar will hold about 14-16 oz of filled food or liquid when taking proper headspace into account.

Factors That Affect Mason Jar Capacity

There are a few key factors that cause the amount of fluid ounces a Mason jar can hold to vary:

  • Mouth Size – Wide mouth jars may hold slightly more than regular mouth jars of the same marked size.
  • Brand – Ball vs Kerr vs other brands may have slight differences in actual capacities.
  • Production Runs – Capacities can vary slightly between different batches of newly manufactured jars.
  • Temperatures – Contents may expand and contract depending on whether the jars are filled hot vs cold.
  • Headspace – Leaving recommended headspace reduces the amount of food or liquid filled.
  • Measurement Error – Measuring cup/spoon inaccuracies can lead to small differences.

For practical purposes, these variances mostly even out across different brands, batches, and filling methods. Following best practices for canning and leaving proper headspace helps ensure safe and consistent results.

Tips for Filling Mason Jars

Here are some tips for achieving optimal fill levels when using regular mouth pint-sized Mason jars:

  • Leave 1/2 inch headspace for high acid foods like fruits, tomatoes, pickles.
  • Leave 1 inch headspace for low acid foods like vegetables, meats.
  • Use a plastic or non-metallic measuring cup to fill jars.
  • Funnel or ladle contents carefully to avoid spilling.
  • Wipe jar rims clean before sealing to ensure a good seal.
  • Refer to tested canning recipes for ideal fill levels and headspace.
  • Weighing contents on a kitchen scale can provide most precise fill amounts.
  • When in doubt, leave a bit more headspace to allow for food expansion and bubbling.

Proper headspace and fill levels are important for achieving a vacuum seal during canning and for the safety of home preserved foods. Following guidelines from trusted sources like the National Center for Home Food Preservation will help ensure success.

Common Uses for 16 oz Regular Mason Jars

The convenient 16 oz size makes regular mouth pint jars one of the most versatile choices for home canning and storage. Here are some of the most popular uses:

  • Canning fruits – Apples, peaches, berries, and more.
  • Canning pie fillings – Sweet cherry, apple, blueberry, pumpkin pies.
  • Canning tomatoes – Whole, crushed, sauce, salsa.
  • Canning vegetables – Beans, carrots, beets, corn.
  • Canning jams and jellies – Strawberry, grape, mixed fruit.
  • Canning pickles – Dill, bread & butter, relish.
  • Dehydrated foods – Soup mixes, granola, herbs.
  • Bathroom storage – Cotton balls, q-tips, bath salts.
  • Crafts – Vases, organizers, wedding decor.

From the kitchen to the craft room, a 16 oz Mason jar is useful for countless purposes around the home. The size hits the sweet spot between smaller 8-12 oz jars and larger 24 oz jars. Their reputation for reliability and versatility has made pint-sized Mason jars a pantry staple for generations of home cooks.

Other Common Regular Mouth Jar Sizes

While the 16 oz jar may be the most standard, there are several other popular regular mouth Mason jar sizes to consider:

4 oz –

Great for sauces, jams, dressings, gift giving. Leaves 1/4 inch headspace.

8 oz –

Ideal for jams, jellies, condiments, sauces. Leaves 1/4 inch headspace.

12 oz –

Versatile for sauces, herbs, spices, chicken, and more. Leaves 1/4-1/2 inch headspace.

24 oz –

Accommodates applesauce, pie fillings, tomatoes, large batches. Leaves 1/2 inch headspace.

32 oz –

Popular size for juices, apple butter, and large volume recipes. Leaves 1/2 inch headspace.

Having a range of sizes on hand gives home canners flexibility for different recipes and food volumes. The 12, 16, and 24 oz jars cover needs for most average-sized families.

Wide Mouth vs Regular Mason Jars

In addition to various sizes, Mason jars come in both wide mouth and regular mouth openings:

  • Wide mouth – 2.75-3.25 inches. Easier to fill and clean.
  • Regular mouth – 2-2.5 inches. More traditional “Mason jar” look.

Wide mouth jars are popular for canning whole fruits and vegetables where fitting the food through a narrow opening would be difficult. Their wider access also simplifies cleaning.

However, regular mouth Mason jars have an iconic look and work great for pourable foods like sauces, jams, juices, pie fillings, etc. Their slightly narrower opening also provides a larger visible curved surface for attractive labeling.

Both styles have classic appeal and seal equally effectively. Choosing between them comes down to intended use, convenience, and personal preference.

Common Brands of Mason Jars

While Mason originally invented the threaded glass canning jar, Ball and Kerr now lead the market in Mason jar production and sales:

  • Ball – The most recognized and popular brand today. Jars and lids manufactured by Newell Brands.
  • Kerr – Now owned by Newell Brands, Kerr jars have over 100 years of history.
  • Golden Harvest – Budget brand sold through grocery stores and big box retailers.
  • Bernardin – Widely available in Canada with select U.S. distribution.

There are also some direct importers and smaller U.S. brands offering Mason jars:

  • Sprout Home – Offers imported European-style Mason jars in unique sizes and shapes.
  • Le Parfait – French brand available in select high-end kitchen stores.
  • Anchor Hocking – Long-time glass manufacturer with limited Mason jar line.

While there is some variablity, Ball, Kerr, and Golden Harvest all meet common industry standards for regular mouth Mason jars in popular pint and quart sizes. Their jars are durable and interchangeable in most cases. Choosing between the major brands often comes down to availability, pricing deals, and jar mouth size preferences.

Helpful Mason Jar Size References

To summarize key regular Mason jar capacities:

Jar Size Approximate Capacity (oz)
8 oz 7-8 oz
12 oz 10-12 oz
16 oz (1 pint) 14-16 oz
24 oz 20-22 oz
32 oz (1 quart) 28-30 oz

These capacities can serve as handy references when working with regular mouth Mason jars. However, it’s always wise to leave proper headspace and follow preservation safety guidelines, which may adjust the actual fill amounts.

When canning or storing goods in regular mouth Mason jars, start with recipes and guidelines designed specifically for home preserving to achieve the best results. Resources like the National Center for Home Food Preservation offer many tested recommendations for safely maximizing jar capacity.


A regular mouth Mason jar typically refers to the popular, pint-sized 16 oz (1 pint) jar. On average, this size holds about 16 fluid ounces when filled to the brim. However, leaving proper headspace allows for 14-16 oz of actual food or liquid when following canning guidelines.

Smaller regular mouth jars may hold around 8-12 oz, while larger 24 oz jars can hold 20-22 oz. There is some capacity variance between brands, production runs, and measuring methods. But the standard 16 oz regular mouth Mason jar reliably provides an ideal amount of space for average canning and storage needs. Following established recipes and safe food preservation practices will ensure getting the appropriate fill amounts and seals for long-lasting Mason jar use.

Leave a Comment